ruling favors axed austin school official
Decision on contract jobs could have statewide impact
The Austin school board was wrong when it terminated a contract employee as part of job cuts the district has made in recent months, according to a finding issued this month by a certified hearing examiner for the Texas Education Agency.
Trustees in April approved an administrative recommendation to terminate Margarita Decierdo, who was in the second year of her three-year contract. The move was part of a broader effort to close a projected gap in the proposed $718 million 2010-11 budget by cutting jobs as the district eliminated programs or departments.
In all, the district put 113 jobs on the chopping block, including 30 vacant positions. Some employees found other jobs within the district; others resigned. Decierdo was hired in 2008 as the district’s director of diversity and intercultural relations. Her position was one of 36 contract jobs identified for elimination, though Decierdo was the only one who filed an appeal.